This article caught my attention because my boss does not believe in excuses. Her point may be valid–we are in control of what we do, even if the result is an opportunity to grow (a lesson learned).
The article contains 4 steps to take when you you feel like clarification is needed and would like to provide context in a way that doesn’t make it sound like you’re offering an excuse. I’ve included an example from the article of what to say when you are in the situation, as well as my Cliff Notes version from the example.
- Determine if It’s Necessary: Be honest with yourself, are you trying to sugarcoat the issue (justify or move the blame) or does the impact of not sharing affect the final outcome of something (if you don’t speak up, the team will be moving in the wrong direction).
- Avoid Qualifiers: Avoid clichés such as “Just so you know” and jump in with the information they need to know.
- Apologize: This may be counter intuitive if it is “not your fault,” but even if it is a lesson learned, the result was that you came up short.
- Move On: Included how you’ll move on from the experience (what was the lesson you learned).
Great example provided in the article: “I’m sorry I’m a day late in submitting this report. I ran into some setbacks in getting the numbers I needed. I’m going to build in more of a schedule buffer the next time I work on one of these.”
Cliff Note version: I’m sorry for abc. I didn’t realize xyz. Go forward is lmnop.
In the end, my boss would prefer accountability of the lesson learned versus making excuses or putting the blame on something/one else.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
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